By Adam Drake
The winds coming off the Hudson used to fly past my apartment on West 71st Street. I’d often thought about sticking a small wind turbine out my window in the hope of harnessing some of that power, and defraying some of the cost of running my A/C all summer long. Alas, my lack of knowledge and my laziness prevented me from taking some cash out of ConEd’s pocket. Now that I’m older, a bit less lazy, and in no way smarter, I’ve decided to look into alternatives to provide my apartment with energy.
My love of anti-fossil fuels is readily apparent in my Tesla article. I want to save the planet, I want to avoid consuming non-renewable resources, and I absolutely hate giving oil companies more money. After doing some research, I’ve found (relatively) simple ways to provide your home/apartment with cheap and completely renewable energy.
The Wind Turbine
You can head to Home Depot and buy a wind turbine. As with most of the items in this article, the use of wind power requires an initial investment. A standard wind turbine won’t create enough to power your entire home, but it can help chip away at some of your costs. A simple calculation will help you decide if it makes sense to purchase a home unit, but if you’re in a section of the city or country with constant wind, it may be worth the price.
A company called Solar City is making it incredibly easy for you to power your home with solar energy. In fact, they’ll even lease you their equipment. Solar panels are becoming much more efficient to produce and use, meaning that they’re cheaper to put on roofs. They’ve become so fantastic at producing energy that they’ll actually sell energy back to your local utility. Imagine getting a check from ConEd instead of sending them one each month.
The first thing you’ll notice in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland is how warm the water is. It shouldn’t be this warm this far north. And yet, the geothermal vents creeping up from the Mid-Atlantic rift are heating the water to a perfect 102˚F. Now imagine utilizing that kind of energy in your home. Geothermal heating is taking off in the United States, and while you need some training, they’re becoming easier and easier to install.
Okay, yes, these may feel like way out of your comfort zone, but why not live a more affordable, greener life?
Adam Drake is Creative Director for the Sweat Life, a former four-year varsity rower for the University of Miami, and currently rows for the Maritime Rowing Club. He is the co-founder of Kayak for a Cause, a charity event based in Connecticut. As a writer, Adam has developed television shows for Comedy Central, Bad Boy Worldwide, and Sky, written ad campaigns for clients such as Bacardi, Starbucks, Dove Men+Care, and HBO, and was a contributor to the pop culture site YesButNoButYes. In his spare time, he enjoys skiing, boating, and working on his tremendous collection of unfinished novels.